Whilst some PAYE umbrella freelancers have recently admitted to being “uncertain” about their prospects in 2011, those supplying the IT skills market have more reason to be optimistic. According to a poll recently conducted by Enterprise Freelance Fair, only 41 per cent of freelancers working in the North West of England believe that market conditions are improving and 51 per cent admit to feeling uncertain about the coming twelve months. But the IT contracting community has received a boost from a new report from the global IT market analysis firm, IDC.

According to the IDC study, 2011 is likely to see a rise in IT spending of 7 per cent, a continued expansion which follows a strong period of growth during 2010. By the close of last year, global sales of IT goods and services reached £0.93 trillion, an increase of 8 per cent on 2009. Hardware investment was especially vigorous, with spending rising by 16 per cent – the fastest pace since 1996.

Commenting on the report, the Vice President of the IT Markets and Strategies Group at IDC, Stephen Minton, said that the IT market performed better than many had expected last year, as in fact had the global economy. Both business profits and stock markets returned to a cycle of growth in 2010 and it appears that many firms took advantage of the stronger-than-predicted performance to “make up for lost time” by upgrading mission-critical infrastructure and systems during the year, Mr Minton continued.

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